He was the 14th president of the United States. Pierce was born, died and buried in New Hampshire. He was only president for one term and his political party was democratic.
During this time, 1853-1857- the country had a big division and challenge of slavery in within. The Compromise of 1850 and specially the Fugitive Slave Law was troubling and dividing the country further apart year after year. Anger, aggression and frustration or as you may call it, conflict, argument or disappointment, it was an issue that had to be solved. It had so many opponents both in North and South. But Pierce policies were not effective enough to make change.
Pierce had established successful trade relations with Japan during his presidency, also expanded American territory to Arizona and New Mexico present day southern borders.
Pierce’s tragic story of losing his 11 year old son in a train accident only a few weeks before the inauguration had the most heartbreaking influence on Pierce and his wife, Jane Pierce.
Jane Pierce was a religious woman and never recovered from the tragedy. According to historians, she regarded it as a sign from God that her husband was not to have any distractions from his family while running the nation.
Social events were very few and far between during his presidency. Even following up the tragedy, the inaugural ball was canceled. Pierce was 48 when elected as president.
“You have summoned me in my weakness. You must sustain me in your strength”
Former president, Millard Fillmore, took over the presidency after the sudden death of Zachary Taylor in 9th of July 1850.Therefore Fillmore, as he was vice president at the time, became the 13th president of the United State until the March 4, 1853 as the rest of the term.
As a follow up office work, he signed into law a series of the five bills that were known as the Compromise of the 1850. Legislation meant to resolve issues dividing the free and slave states. Fillmore was also a strong opposed of the slavery.
He started a successful trade relationship with Japan, which had previously rejected Americans to do business with.
The Compromise of 1850 was as blow:
- California was admitted as a free slave;
- Texas was compensated for the loss of territory in the boundary dispute with New Mexico;
- New Mexico was granted territorial status;
- The slave trade, but not slavery itself, was abolished in the nation’s capital;
- The Fugitive Slave Law enacted, allowing the slave owners to pursue and recapture runaway slaves in free states.
The Compromise was the most noteworthy event in Fillmore’s presidency. It was proved unpopular in both North and South states. But basically has been said that it delayed the start of Civil War for more than a decade.
“An honorable defeat is better than a dishonorable victory.”
He was born in Virginia, died in Washington D.C and buried in D.C before his burial site moved to Kentucky. Taylor was 64 when became the 12th president of the United States, and he is often known for his blunt way of speaking and strong ideas regarding how the country should be moved forward. His political party was Whig party, however he was very independent minded.
He became the president in March 1849 and died over a year after, when falling ill during an Independence Day celebration. Taylor is mostly known for the Mexican War, the war over the boarder of the United State and Mexico after Texas joined the Union.
Taylor was a war hero after the victory for the United States over Mexico.
One of the important actions during Taylor administration was the legislation that became known as the Compromise of 1850.
During his presidency, he admitted California as a free state but would establish territorial governments for New Mexico and Utah, leaving the issue of slavery open to them. Taylor also introduced the Fugitive Slave Law which was very argumentative. The law would give Southern Slave owners federal assistance in recapturing runaway slaves.
Taylor was against slavery and tried to prohibit the extension of it around the nations and new territories.
Some historian after his death believed that Taylor’s sudden death might have been result of a poison, after he made the Compromised of 1850. But medical testing and research result, proven otherwise in the following years.
Taylor’s nickname used to be “Old Rough and Ready”.
His vice president, Millard Fillmore, became the next US president for rest of the term.
Taylor was president for a year and about four months before he died on July 9th, 1850.
James K. Polk
Aiming from start, James K. Polk goal was to make America more economically and geographically successful. He was the 11th president of the United States. A democrat, who was born in North Carolina, studied at the University of North Carolina, died and buried in Nashville, Tennessee.
As he promised in his inauguration, he achieved economic goals and expanded U.S territory.
Polk addressed these four goals for his administration:
1. Reestablishing an independent treasury system.
2. Lowering tariffs
3. Settling the Oregon issue with Great Britain
4. Acquiring the California territory from Mexico.
California entered the Union as a free state and Mexico was reduced to about half its former size. The United State expanded greatly after his efforts. In addition to California, New Mexico and Arizona, also Oregon and Washington were added to the Union.
Former president Harry S.Truman once said about Polk that “James K. Polk was a great president. Said what he intended to do and did it.”
After William Henry Harrison died a month after he took the office as a president, his vice president, John Tyler, started to perform presidential duties until the Congress make a decision on who would become the president.
John Tyler became the tenth president of the United State and the first vice president to become the president after the death of elected president.
There was no statement, to clearly address; if the president dies then the vice president will be temporary acting president or he can stay in the office as president for the full term. Therefore, John Tyler, sworn in as the new president and beginning to work as a president without waiting for the Congress.
One of Tyler’s actions during his term was signing the bill that annexing Texas as a state. The bill had so many opponents in Congress, because the new state will add another slave state to the Union.
Not long after the death of his first wife, Letitia Tyler, while he was president, he married again to Julia, who was thirty years younger than himself. It was the first time that a president had married while in office.
First time for many things America!
John Tyler was born, died and buried in Virginia. He only had one term in the office after former president Harrison.
William Henry Harrison
Ninth president of the United State, who only served as president for a month before dying of pneumonia, he died in the office on April 4, 1841 and he was the first American president to die in the office.
Harrison’s death shocked the Constitutional as there was no plan or suggestion on who would become the president in such a case. Therefore, John Tyler, Harrison’s vice president started to serve as a temporary president until Congress could decide on an action.
Since Harrison only was president for one month, obviously he could not achieve any of his goals that he addressed in his inaugural speech. However, he had the longest speech that any US president addressed in inauguration.
Harrison was born in Virginia, died in Washington D.C and he buried in Memorial State Park, North Bend, Ohio.
He had other governmental positions such as state senator from Ohio and U.S. congressman and senator from Ohio. He was a follower of the Whig party.
After Harrison, his vice president, John Tyler, stayed in the office as a president for the entire turn. Therefore, John Tyler became the tenth president of the United State.
Martin Van Buren
Eight president of the United State, who was the first president, was born after signing of the Declaration of Independence. He was born, died and buried in New York.
The economic downturn, recognized as the Panic of 1837, was one of the biggest challenges Van Buren faced. All banks closed in Philadelphia and New York on May 10, and the beginning of the Panic of 1837. During the Panic of 1837, jobs were lost, banks failed and businesses bankrupt.
He was a Democrat and only ran the office for one term.
When there was a discussion over admitting Texas into the Union during annexation, Van Buren was against the idea because he believed that it will unbalance the numbers of slave and non-slave states. Texas was entering the Union as a slave state.
However, Van Buren avoided going to another war with Great Britain, and he also reinstituted the federal bank. His efforts to make economic situation for the nation recovered, was important, although the finance suffered during his entire term as a president.
Martin Van Buren used a nickname for himself during his election as “Old Kinderhook”. When he became the president and got to Washington, he used to sign memos and documents with the initials “OK” and that is how the word founds its way in American vocabulary.
So next time you say OK, remember former president of the United States, Martin Van Buren.